5 October 2019   Leave a comment

The US and North Korea began negotiations again in Sweden, but the talks broke off after a day. The negotiations were conducted by North Korea’s Kim Myong Gil and US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun as a prelude to a hoped-for meeting between US President Trump and North Korean leader Kim. The talks in Sweden were conducted against the back-drop of new ballistic missile tests by North Korea. It was the 11th test by North Korea this year and it was touted as a “new” missile by North Korea. Its range, as indicated by the graphic below, is considerable, raising concerns among North Korea’s neighbors in East Asia. US President Trump still maintains that these tests are not a US concern, but that position is hard to take seriously. South Korea and Japan certainly consider the tests troubling and, if the new missile was launched from a submarine, then it is in range of the US homeland as well. Kim Jong-un has made tremendous progress in developing a serious nuclear capability in the last two years.

Ecuador has experienced three days of unrest as President Lenin Moreno has implemented austerity measures demanded by the International Monetary Fund as the price of a loan designed to prevent a loan default. The protests are widely supported by the indigenous peoples of Ecuador who have largely been marginalized throughout the history of the oil-rich state. The protests have largely stemmed from fuel price increases which were a significant part of the austerity program. Fuel prices were heavily subsidized by the state and Ecuador was a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). But Moreno has announced his intention to pull Ecuador out of the cartel. President Moreno has declared a state of emergency in the country.

Posted October 5, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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